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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

A child receives distance education via the Internet because of Covid 19
An online tutoring startup in Vienna has broken an investment record. File photo: Ahmed Hindawi/Unsplash
Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Austria’s vaccine mandate law receives record-breaking response

During its review period which ended on Monday, the draft of Austria’s vaccine mandate law had received 108,325 statements of opinion, a record.

Relevant organisations are invited to submit their opinions on draft laws including those who will be involved in their implementation, and private individuals can also respond.

The digital health organisation for example said in their response that setting up the technical infrastructure for the mandate would be tough to achieve by the February 1st deadline. The Chamber of Commerce was in favour of postponing the mandate.

In this case, the majority of responses came from private individuals, many submitting the same text.

Viennese startup GoStudent breaks investment record

Vienna tutoring startup GoStudent raised €300 million in an investment round, breaking an Austrian record.

The company is currently valued at €3 billion. In total it has raised over €590 million since its launch in 2016, and became Austria’s second ‘unicorn’ startup, following Bitpanda.

Police warn of societal divisions in open letter

Around 600 police officers across Austria have written an open letter to Interior Minister Gerhard Karner to express concerns about “the rule of law, freedom of expression and fundamental rights as well as health”.

They said that the planned vaccine mandate was causing division in society at large as well as within the police force, and said that compulsory vaccination could lead to “committed and qualified” staff leaving the police.

The letter-writers said they were not tied to any association or union, or to right- or left-wing extremism. A copy of the letter published by the Wiener Zeitung can be viewed here.

Housing prices in Austria rose by over 10% last year

That’s according to analysis by Unicredit Bank Austria, as reported in Der Standard.

While incomes also rose in 2021, but at an average increase of 5 percent they do not keep pace with the fast increasing costs of property.

In 2021, a 100 square-metre flat would cost the average Austrian 15 times their annual salary, compared to 13.5 before the pandemic.

Vienna’s City Hall ice rink to open next week

At 9,500 square metres, the ice rink at Rathausplatz will be larger than ever when it opens on January 19th with requirements for 2G and FFP2 masks.

Visitors can buy tickets on line to receive a QR code to enter via turnstiles, and this is ten percent cheaper than buying on-site, in an attempt by organisers to avoid queues or bottlenecks.


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